Robbie Neilson believes Peter Pawlett’s weekend winner at Partick Thistle was a fitting reward for the attacker after he put his body on the line to help Dundee United at the end of last season.
The 28-year-old’s scoring introduction at Firhill came five minutes into his first appearance of the campaign.
He’s spent most of the summer recovering from a knee injury that’s plagued him since May. It didn’t stop him taking part in the promotion play-offs, although it probably should have.
“I was especially pleased for Peter. He needed injections in a really bad knee injury for the play-offs,” said Robbie.
“We hoped it would clear up and that he would come back OK for pre-season but we have had to take our time with him.
“To see him grab the winner was great. He is still a wee bit away from full fitness but he is such a good player.”
With another two weeks of training under his belt, United could have the option of starting Pawlett when they head for Dunfermline on Saturday week and the resumption of Championship business after this weekend’s down time because of the Betfred Cup.
The other major injury worry over the summer, Osman Sow, was an unused sub at Thistle and he could also be in contention for the trip to East End Park.
With no game this weekend, United will meet neighbours Dundee in a bounce game tomorrow.
It will be a chance for players who’ve been on the fringes of the team to get some needed game time.
Tomorrow will see both United and Dundee find out who they will face in the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup when they enter at the third-round stage early next month.
Second-round ties take place tonight and the draw then goes ahead at lunchtime tomorrow.
As well as tonight’s winners, in the hat for the first time will be Championship clubs as well as Solihull Moors and Wrexham from the English National League, Welsh Premier League sides The New Saints and Connah’s Quay Nomads, Ballymena United and Glenavon from Northern Ireland, and Waterford and Bohemians from the Republic of Ireland.